Display multi-language on website



Hi there,

This is the first time I’m going to design a multi-language website. The website will be in Dutch and English. Does any of you have experience with showing the languages in the menu bar? Which the best way to do this from your experience? I’ve put some examples below, if you have different examples please let me know!

Example in letters:

Example icons:


I am standing against using flags for language selection. Flag represents country, not language. Technically, the majority of users will understand UK flag as English language, I suppose, but this can annoy users from other English-speaking countries.

You know, we in Ukraine speak both Ukrainian and Russian, but we are in a state of war with Russia, so seeing Russian flag as Russian language makes Ukrainians mad. Russia does not own exclusive rights on Russian language after all. The same could be with UK flag and English language.

Also, keep in mind that your site can detect the browser language and suggest it by default: https://www.w3schools.com/jsref/prop_nav_language.asp


This is a timely question for me - in fact I thought I asked it and forgot.
I don’t have a good answer.

I understand the desire for the visual flag recognition language identifier thingy.
If you settle on something, please update. I’ll come back when I come to some conclusion.


Country flag may be a good option where a huge list of languages is required. A flag makes it easier to spot the needed language.


Agree with AnLev, Google can detect the user location and display the correct language so you probably don’t need to worry too much about designing all language options. I’d recommend researching more on this topic rather than getting examples from other sites as this is a fairly new technology.


So obvious, but didn’t think of that myself yet. Thanks for this insight!

@mrcn We’re going to do the text language selector since we’re only going to do it for two languages for now. Later on when we have 10+ languages (few years I guess) I’m going to reconsider if it’s the best option. I came to this conclusion because of what @AnLev said, she really had a solid point!

Agree on that. I think this is something to research for in the future.

You’re completely right! But it is important for my stakeholders for now. I’m going to research this part at a later stage when we have more languages for our website.